Don Reese
No. 76, 60
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1951-09-04)September 4, 1951
Mobile, Alabama
Died:September 18, 2003(2003-09-18) (aged 52)
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school:Vigor (Prichard, Alabama)
College:Jackson State
NFL Draft:1974 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played:88
Games started:37
Fumble recoveries:4
Player stats at

Donald Francis Reese (September 4, 1951 – September 18, 2003) was an American football defensive end who played in the National Football League and the United States Football League. He played professionally for the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers and the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL.


Reese was born in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Vigor High School in Prichard, Alabama.[1] He played college football at Jackson State University.

Reese was a 1st round selection (26th overall pick) of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.[2] He would go on to play for the Dolphins (1974–1976), the New Orleans Saints (1978–1980), and the San Diego Chargers (1981). In 1985 Reese played for the Birmingham Stallions in the United States Football League.[3]

Reese was suspended for the final four games of the 1980 season by interim coach Dick Stanfel for instigating a fight during a practice with teammate Derland Moore. Stanfel was conducting his first practice session as Saints coach after taking over for Dick Nolan, who was fired after the Saints fell to 0-12 in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. New Orleans finished 1-15, becoming the first NFL team to lose 15 games in a season.

In June 1982, Reese penned an extensive piece for Sports Illustrated in which he detailed his struggles with drugs. This was one of the first looks into the seedy world of money and drug use in the NFL. .[4]

Reese was named the Jackson State All-Century Team and was inducted into the JSU Athletic Hall of Fame

Reese died in Mobile, Alabama at the age 52 from liver cancer.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Donald Francis Reese". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "Donald Francis Reese". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Brennan, Christine (February 17, 1985). "Don Reese, NFL's Drug Buster, Back in Football With USFL". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "'I'm Not Worth a Damn'".
  5. ^ Donald Reese
  6. ^ "Life In Legacy - Week of September 20, 2003". Life In Legacy. Retrieved November 10, 2012.